Or "How to get your Indian visa and move to India in 18 easy steps or less"
A simple plan requiring mental strength, emotional stability and a certain amount of physical dexterity:
1) Sign long awaited contract.
2)Troop downtown to Target for family passport pics and applications...signed, sealed and officially stamped.
3)Expedite (by which a great deal of money is exchanged for the pleasure of getting passports in the current millenium)
4)Once the passports arrive: Fill out hand cramping visa applications x 4, include official birth certificates of minor children and a marriage certificate....
6)Wait some more.
7)Wait...assuming that *of course* the visas will arrive by your scheduled departure date.
8)Throw big Going Away Party. Say Goodbye to Everyone. Begin to tie up loose ends at work. Pack. Pack. Pack. Stand confused in the middle of your living room wondering how you will ever organize everything.
9)Convince your children that you have not lost your mind. Ship miscellaneous items (some without discernible reason) by Sea. Pray for the return of your passports and perhaps the visas. Drop the kids off at Grandma's. Field phone call from Grandma stating that the kids *claim* they haven't had dinner. Realize that the kids are right.
10)Become aware that your visas and passports are lost in space. Be informed that the Indian consulate is not returning phone or email messages. Rebook your flight and hotel for one week later.
11)Clean your basement and find out just how much you actually NEED more time. Pack some more. Rent a dumpster and fill it in under 4 hours. Rent another dumpster. Remember to feed your children breakfast, lunch AND dinner...all in one day!
12)Learn to enjoy life surrounded by cardboard. Attempt to cook several meals without pans or utensils. Go out to dinner. Again.
13) Wait. Cancel your flight and hotel. Run into friends who wonder why you aren't in India. Remember that you *are* moving to India...someday...soon. Have a freaky hissy fit, ineffectively kicking the cardboard boxes in your dining room. Buy a yoga mat, several pounds of chocolate and a nice bottle of wine. NOTE TO SELF: do yoga BEFORE eating several pounds of chocolate and drinking one bottle of wine.
14) Fly to Chicago. Wait many hours. Pray that your passports are not lost. Realize that they might be. Some how secure all passports and visas...12 hours later. Rejoice!
15) Remember that you are skilled at *Being Flexible*... Rebook flights and hotel.
16) Sell your house!!!!!! Congratulate your self on *everything happening for a good reason*... Go to the State Fair and eat cheese curds. Bring the kids to visit their grandparents. Spend quality time with the dog. Notice the large amount of toilet paper you've collected to ship to India.
17)Gawk at the movers as they empty the house...room by room. Your first house. The only one your kids have known. Recall that you've sold it. Cry. Laugh. Do a little more of both. Put on some "Yonder Mountain String Band" and do a goodbye dance with the kids in your empty living room...
18)Remember your good fortune and the amazing opportunity you've been given. Buy several more India guidebooks. Become really excited because you are finally moving to India!
The Universe has it's own ways of moving along...you can swim against the current or decide to let the water carry you. Sometimes you do a bit of both before you see that, either way, you're still in the water! Wish us a good luck in our journey... We depart this coming Tuesday, September 4th.
Chandra, Bob, Grayce and Owen :-)